Fire in Local Residence Reveals Extreme Pack Rat Conditions

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 |

On Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 5:36 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and Animal Services, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Vidovich, responded to a Structure Fire at 2130 N. Echo Park Av. in the Silver Lake area.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find a 1 story, single family dwelling, approximately 1500 square feet, with fire showing from the front of the structure. Additional information was transmitted to Firefighters at the scene, that the structure had severe pack rat conditions and possible animals trapped inside.

Firefighters fought energetically to deploy handlines and find an access way to the seat of the fire, wading through the thick accumulation of salvaged items. During ventilation efforts, heat holes only produced puffs of smoke, as the modified attic was also packed with salvaged items to the ceiling level.

It took 37 Firefighters 39 minutes to finally call a knockdown on the fire. The cause was determined to be electrical, with a dollar loss estimated at $25,000 [$25,000 structure and $5,000 contents]. The 67 year old female occupant declined assistance from the Red Cross, opting to shelter with family. Animal Services was called to assist in the removal of approximately 10 deceased cats. Traffic along Echo Park Boulevard was diverted in both directions for the duration of the incident.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

the FDNY refers to extreme pack rat
conditions as "Collyer's Mansion Conditions" from an incident in 1947.

The story can be found here:

Chris S

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


How sad yet memorable a story for those in our vocation to share over generations. The Collyer's continue to teach an important lesson in life safety.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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